For many of today’s reality shows, competition is the name of the game. Whether they’re dancing, singing or using their wits to survive in the wilderness, participants pit their skills against others to win the prize. The harsher the competition, the better it is for ratings, thus prompting producers and directors to encourage it. Conversely, most managers in most workplaces spend their days cultivating cooperation. But should they be? A new survey conducted by The Creative Group found that more than two-thirds (72 percent) of advertising and marketing executives admit their staff members compete with each other, and that this competitive spirit actually enhances employee productivity in nine out of 10 situations. “Healthy competition encourages professionals to stretch their capabilities and come up with innovative ideas,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group. You’re the last one to know. If colleagues rarely share their ideas or success strategies, it’s a sign that they don’t trust you to support their concepts or worry that you’ll pass off their ideas as your own. There’s a paper trail. Cubicle mates who frequently e-mail instead of speaking to you may want to keep a record of their communications, another sign that trust has eroded. You accept all the credit. Those who are excessively competitive often fail to acknowledge the roles colleagues play in making projects successful. For more information Books: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert I. Sutton; Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t by Ram Charan Web sites: www.team buildinginc.com/article_team motivation.htm. Dawn Anfuso is a South Bay-based business writer and former managing editor of Workforce magazine. If you have workplace or job-search questions, write to Dawn Anfuso, c/o Daily Breeze, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077, e-mail Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Writers will remain anonymous. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But it’s possible to take competition too far. Once “winning” becomes someone’s priority, he or she stops cooperating with others and workplace camaraderie flies out the window. This can be detrimental not only to productivity, but also to the competitor’s career. Following are six signs that an employee may need to scale back a sense of competition and adopt a more collaborative mindset: Vacations make you nervous. Those who are overly competitive may fear that people who assume their responsibilities in their absence will outshine them. You’re leery of your peers. If you view co-workers as more of a threat than a resource, the competition level is too high. You bad-mouth others to your boss. Occasionally it may be necessary to discuss a problem colleague, but too many of these conversations signal insecurity on your part.